Tagged: cognitive bias

Logical Fallacies and Cognitive Biases: The Straw Man Fallacy

The Straw Man Fallacy is a common technique that opponents of science use to attack scientific theories or claims. That is not to say that such people have ill intentions, as often times people aren’t even aware that they are employing this fallacy. However, unlike some other fallacies, this one is not always so easy to identify. So let’s start at the beginning: What is the Straw Man Fallacy? The Straw Man Fallacy is a ideological misconception in which someone misrepresents their opponent’s argument, making it more simplistic and therefore an easier target. That is to say: when you alter...

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Correlation does not imply causation! But then what does it mean?

“Correlation does not imply causation.” If you’ve ever taken a science course, you’ve likely heard this phrase before. And doubtless, if you’ve ever worked in research, this statement probably made you roll your eyes a bit, huffing out a scoff with the obligatory “No duh.” But if you’ve never heard of this phrase before, what does it actually mean? It’s actually less specifically related to science and more of a discipline in logical thinking. “Correlation” just means that two things are related or associated with one another. And “causation” just means that one event caused another event to occur. So...

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